Awford faces challenge to fix Pompey

Joe Devera attempts to halt the Plymouth charge. Picture: Joe Pepler
Joe Devera attempts to halt the Plymouth charge. Picture: Joe Pepler

We’ve all had some rotten days following Pompey over the past five years.

This was down there with some of the lowlights.

As a contest, it was over inside half an hour.

That first-half display was lifeless and appeared to lack fight when things started to unravel.

Pompey improved after the break but not much and Plymouth knew the job was done by that point.

So time for panic stations at something terminally wrong or simply a very bad day at the office?

There will be differing views from those who made the trek to Devon or the rest who watched the public execution on TV.

The bottom line is this team performance from Pompey was nowhere near good enough.

Andy Awford was honest in delivering his verdict but in his time in charge at the club, there haven’t been too many dark days like this one.

But he also knows 
criticism comes with the territory in the wake of a defeat like that.

His players may not have done what was asked of them but he is well aware the buck stops with him.

But those who saw him in his playing days as skipper of the club will know Awford is not the kind of bloke to duck a challenge.

If there are failings, he will work to address them as quickly as he possibly can.

He will also hold his hands up and admit when he’s made a mistake.

It’s an example others would do well to follow.

There may well be plausible reasons behind the performance.

In hindsight, the selection may have been wrong and the formation didn’t work.

That simplicity of recent games was gone as Pompey attempted to stifle Plymouth – to little effect.

It left some wondering why Pompey simply didn’t try to play to their own strengths and create a few of their own problems for the home side to deal with.

It’s also worth pointing out two of this season’s key men were unavailable in one of the tougher away fixtures.

Paul Robinson was suspended and James Dunne is out injured until January.

They were missed badly.

Take two top players out of any side in the land and that team will not be the same.

But it was up to those who stepped in to show they are capable of doing the job.

On this evidence, they aren’t.

So is it time to delve into the loan market or trust in those who failed to deliver this time to get it right?

That is Awford’s call and it’s not an easy one.